On another entertaining day of women’s tennis in Toronto it was one winner from my two best bets on Tuesday at the Rogers Cup.
The day began in profitable, if highly stressful, fashion when Domi Cibulkova just about scraped past Angelique Kerber in a classic encounter that lasted just short of three hours.
Domi deserved the win after throwing away the opening set and proving the more aggressive player throughout a topsy-turvy clash that the Slovak took after recovering from 1-4 down in the deciding set.
My next match was a real grind, with Stephanie Dubois letting a one set lead slip in a lengthy encounter that really was one for the die-hards and lasted almost as long as the Cibulkova match.
Wednesday’s WTA schedule has several tempting betting propositions on it, not least Varvara Lepchenko, who faces a surely exhausted Magdalena Rybarikova at 6.30pm UK time this evening.
Rybarikova dragged herself over to Toronto hours after winning the title in Washington and although she won yesterday, her opposition was particularly poor and the much fresher Lepchenko, who has beaten Rybarikova twice in the past, should be able to make it count.
Eugenie Bouchard is also tempting on home soil against defending champion Petra Kvitova, but I was expecting a bigger price than 2.80 for the Canadian and perhaps the best option in that one is to side with Bouchard to take a set at 1.72 on the handicap.
In the opening match of the day at 4pm I like Sloane Stephens to take care of the erratic Mona Barthel. The young American starlet is a backable 1.53 outright or 1.78 minus 2.5 games on the handicap. Both players enjoy these conditions, but Stephens is by far the better athlete of the two and should be able to make that advantage tell. I would expect Sloane to be a fairly routine winner here if she’s anywhere near top form and the handicap looks a good bet there.
There have to be question marks over Marion Bartoli, who’s been basking in the well-deserved glory of her Wimbledon win and hasn’t played since. Against someone with more weapons than Lauren Davis I’d take her on today. I said yesterday that Davis was a strange price against Sveta Kuznetsova and she’s now beaten the Russian twice in a matter of days.
I don’t think the match-up with Roberta Vinci will suit Ekaterina Makarova at all and the Italian is priced up at around 1.70, which is a touch of value for me. Makarova likes a rhythm to her play and enjoys a hitting contest and as Rybarikova proved last week in Washington, she has few answers to someone with variety in their play. Vinci comes into that category and looks worth backing during a swing that has been good to her of late.
Back Lepchenko to beat Rybarikova at 1.70
Back Stephens -2.5 games to beat Barthel at 1.78
Back Vinci to beat Makarova at 1.70